Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Is Brent Burns 'all Hart?'

03/09/2017 at 2:15pm EST

TSN's Scott Cullen issues "Three Quarter NHL Awards," and his Hart Trophy pick is...intiguging...

HART
Winner
: Brent Burns, D, San Jose
Runners-Up: Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh; Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton

This is a difficult decision. Crosby has been my pick through the first two installments, but as his goal-scoring pace has slowed, it gets more reasonable to consider Burns, a defenceman who is leading the league in shots on goal and has more than a point per game. Furthermore, Burns is on pace for 34 goals, and the last time a defenceman scored that many goals, had better than a point per game and four shots on goal per game was Doug Wilson in 1981-1982 (The only other defenceman to meet those thresholds in a season was some guy by the name of Orr, three times).

This isn’t to take away from Crosby, who is having a great season, and McDavid, who is leading the league in scoring in his second season, but Burns’ season is extraordinary, and we’re far enough down the road that I’ve shifted into Burns’ corner, though it’s admittedly a close race.

Some others to consider: Chicago right winger Patrick Kane, who is suddenly second in the league with 70 points, is probably the best candidate outside the top three. Evgeni Malkin, Nikita Kucherov and Jeff Carter have all been really good, too, but not quite at the same level.

Cullen continues...

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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